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CEDAR FALLS — Karli Rucker hit the game’s first basket and Northern Iowa never trailed Friday as the Panthers routed Omaha 79-50 in college women’s basketball action at the McLeod Center.

UNI (7-4) built a 17-11 first-quarter lead and after UNO pulled within 19-14 early in the second period, the Panthers went on a 15-2 run to break the game open.

Leading 34-20 at halftime, UNI put the Mavericks away with a 45-point second half.

The Panthers shot 48.5 percent overall and had 23 assists while holding Omaha (5-7) to 33 percent shooting and just 2 of 18 from 3-point range.

Individually, six players scored at least eight points for UNI. Taylor Hagen led the way with 15 while Rucker finished with 11 points, four steals and four assists. Ellie Howell Bre Gunnels’ seven rebounds topped the Panthers who had five players with at least five boards.

UNI returns to action Dec. 29 with a 1 p.m. game at Kansas State before beginning Missouri Valley Conference play.

UNI 79, Omaha 50

OMAHA (5-7) — Carter 4-11 2-4 10, Killian 4-13 1-4 10, Filer 3-9 0-0 6, Wallace 0-3 0-0 0, Johnston 2-7 0-0 4, Phillips 2-6 0-1 4, Coulter 0-1 0-0 0, Mountain 0-1 0-0 0, Murdie 5-10 5-6 16. Totals 20-61 8-15 50.

NORTHERN IOWA (7-4) — Rucker 4-8 2-3 11, Howell 3-9 0-0 8, Gunnels 2-4 0-1 4, Morgan 0-2 0-0 0, Hagen 7-8 1-1 15, Kroeger 1-4 0-0 2, Finley 2-4 0-0 6, Iverson 0-0 0-0 0, Simon-Ressler 3-6 3-3 9, Wolf 4-6 0-0 9, Hillyard 4-4 1-1 9, Gerrits 2-11 0-0 6. Totals 32-66 7-9 79.

Omaha 11 9 14 16 — 50

N. Iowa 17 17 23 22 — 79

3-point goals — Omaha 2-18 (Carter 0-1, Killian 1-8, Filer 0-1, Johnston 0-2, Phillips 0-2, Murdie 1-4), UNI 8-27 (Rucker 1-5, Howell 2-4, Morgan 0-1, Kroeger 0-3, Finley 2-4, Wolf 1-1, Gerrits 2-9). Rebounds — Omaha 34 (Filer 7), UNI 45 (Gunnels 7). Assists — Omaha 4 (Carter 2), UNI 23 (Howell 6). Turnovers — Omaha 18 (Mountain 4, Murdie 4), UNI 21 (Rucker 4, Howell 4). Blocks — Omaha 1 (Wallace), UNI 6 (Gunnels 2, Hagen 2). Steals — Omaha 12 (Filer 3, Johnston 3), UNI 10 (Rucker 4). Total fouls — Omaha 13, UNI 11. Fouled out — none. Att. — 1,129.

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